Wednesday, January 21, 2015
January 21, 2015 - Two Weeks Post Chemotherapy Infusion.
It has been two weeks since my first chemotherapy infusion. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about breast cancer and its treatment. I have been classified as an auditory learner so all I need is a lecture to listen to or a book to read. I have read almost non-stop some days and even listened to some talk/lecture videos. Chemotherapy is a commitment I have made and I wanted to be as well prepared as I can possibly be before starting. I read all about the drugs I would be receiving including the published statistics of the different possible side effects. I became active on the different forums and read all of the "patient stories." I was quickly realizing that each person's experience with chemotherapy is different. Most agreed that it has a cumulative effect especially with the fatigue factor but there were many who said the first treatment was the worst because of not knowing what to expect. So I decide my best plan is to find out what the people with the most positive reports did to prepare! All of those "preached" water and chemo diet and it worked for me! I started "tanking up" on water the day before my chemo started. I drank water during my treatment and on the way home. I was easily drinking two gallons daily and continued this for one week. After receiving chemo, it is vital that you "baby" your GI tract by eating frequent small portions of bland food. I did not drink any carbonation, no greasy foods, no red meat and the only sugar was in jello. I drank water, skim milk and apple and tomato juice. I started every day with a soft scrambled egg on toast with skim milk. I always fell asleep at night looking forward to breakfast because it was my biggest meal! lol. The chemo diet is very similar to what a pregnant woman eats when she has morning sickness or when a sailor is out at sea for days. I ate small amounts every two hours careful to never let my stomach get empty during waking hours. I ate fruits, vegetables, yogurt, eggs, baked chicken breast, rice, baked potatoes, nuts, salmon, cornflakes and soup all in very small portions. I took my Zofran as instructed for the first several days. I also deliberately rested a lot during that week following chemotherapy. I feel a combination of water, diet as I described, Zofran and rest for the week following chemo was just the right recipe for me! I am also finding that during the time a person is undergoing chemo, it is not the time to be a "hero." This is the "humbling" part of chemo. Let others help you. Your body just took a hard but needed hit of medicines so sit back and "baby that body" that following week. The only symptom I experienced with this cycle was some burping at times but no biggie. I am also staying very compliant with oral hygiene by brushing and gargling with all Biotene products and swishing and gargling three times daily with salt/baking soda solution in hopes of avoiding/minimizing mouth irritations.
I go for my next chemotherapy on January 29 and plan to repeat my same "water/diet/Zofran/rest" combination and have high hopes of it working again! I hope this information helps someone who is about to start with their chemotherapy. Please continue to keep me in your prayers. I feel them all!
Now back to "Scarf Tying 101." Why is it that I can care for and manage the patient while operating a dialysis and/or a plasma-pheresis machine but I can't learn to tie these dang scarves on my head?! lol